Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the primary lung cancer screening program in Akita Prefecture, a region with the fastest aging population in Japan.

Publication date: Jul 12, 2023

Akita Prefecture has the largest proportion of older inhabitants and the highest cancer mortality rate in Japan. Lung cancer is one of the biggest killers, and early detection is critical. Chest X-ray examinations are the main screening method for lung cancer; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the screening system. Here, we evaluate how COVID-19 has affected lung cancer screening in Akita Prefecture. Using the Akita General Health Corporation database, the average annual number of chest X-ray screening tests, close examinations and lung cancer diagnoses (stratified by sex and age) was evaluated during 2016-2019, and compared with the 2020 values. Furthermore, data on lung cancer registrations from 2018 to 2020 were obtained from the Collaborative Akita Prefecture Hospital-Based Cancer Registration System and analyzed. The average annual number of screening tests, close examinations and lung cancer diagnoses declined (by >50%) between 2016 to 2019 and 2020, especially among older people (aged ≥65 years). Furthermore, by stage, the number of patients with early-stage lung cancer (stage 0-I) decreased, and the number with advanced-stage cancer (stage IV) increased. The COVID-19 pandemic reduced lung cancer screening participation, especially among the older adult population in Akita Prefecture, resulting in a decrease in lung cancer diagnoses through screening. This might have reduced the number of early-stage cancer registrations. It is necessary to improve health education among the public regarding the importance of chest X-ray screening. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2023; ••: ••-••.

Concepts Keywords
Cancer cancer screening
Fastest COVID-19 pandemic
Japan early detection
Killers elderly people
lung cancer


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease MESH lung cancer
disease VO population
disease MESH cancer

Original Article

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *